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I'll Call You Back In A Few Weeks . . .

Copyright (c) 2007-2019

Lucky. Yes, lucky. I am lucky that week-in and week-out, I get to sit in and listen to various communication between salespeople and their clients. It never ceases to amaze me how as salespeople we are not aware of some of the things we do and how those actions affect the client-salesperson relationship. More importantly, how our actions with our clients either move us towards or away from closure.

Here is a great example of what I am speaking about. I walk by a salesperson's office and hear this comment when he is concluding a phone call – "I'll call you back in a few weeks." This comment sends me straight up the flag pole and if you are a sales manger reading this, it had better send you up the pole as well!

Imagine for a moment you are the client who just heard "I'll call you back in a few weeks." Consider the opinions that you might be formulating of that salesperson. What thoughts would be cultivating in your mind? Are your really being drawn to the salesperson?

Here are some possibilities that I came up with:

1. The salesperson is not busy
2. The salesperson is just like the rest of em'.
3. The salesperson has nothing better to do than to leave our conversation in a fog bank.
4. If the salesperson really believed in his product, he would not be so nonchalant.
5. Does the salesperson think that I don't have a life and he could call me whenever?

I could go on and on with this yet I will spare you all the other things that might possibly lurk in a client's mind. Notwithstanding, I am sure that the salesperson that ends his client communication this way STARTS out his communication that way.

Remember what is taught in the SalesMastery Two Day Course (http://www.chuckbauer.com/topic.asp?ID=34). The three reasons why salespeople are given a "NO." Here they are:

1. The client does not like you.
2. You did not explain your product, company or yourself correctly.
3. You did something in your sales delivery that triggered a negative past sales experience for the client.

My belief, in ending a communication with "I'll call you back in a few weeks" hits on #1 and #3. The salesperson does not MAKE his client like him or her and you end your call or appointment just like a typical salesperson. When you say "I'll call you back in a few weeks" you end your call or appointment in a communication fog bank – thus triggering a negative past sales experience for that client.

The solution lies in some easy sales tactics that will help the client avoid feeling and thinking in the ways we just described. These tactics, when practiced and IMPLIMENTED into daily habits will create a positive effect on your sales revenue.

Sales Tactic #1:

Always have a predisposed P.O.A. – plan of attack with precise action steps that will be taken. If you end ANY client communication without a clear and defined next step, you lose. Calling back in a few weeks is NOT a clear and defined next step.

Sales Tactic #2:

Always preach to your client that you are BUSY and you know they are too. If you speak this type of phrasing in the course of your client communication, you KILL THEIR FEAR of you lollie-gagging around because you have nothing better to do. Example: "Mister client, I know you are busy as I am as well, let's respect each other's time commitments and schedule an exact time for our follow up phone call/appointment. I have Tuesday the 14th open at 1:30 pm, my next available after that is Thursday, the 16th at 9:30 am, which works better for you?"

Another great example of this is to STOP answering your phone on the first ring! WHAT?! Are you just sitting there waiting for a client to call you? You are better off to not answer the phone and call back after a few minutes. This tactic applies to your cell phones as well. A BUSY salesperson does not answer the phone on the first ring – they are TOO BUSY!

Is Your Cell Phone Running Your Life? http://www.chuckbauer.com/article.asp?ID=112

Sales Tactic #3:

Use Microsoft Outlook to put the scheduled appointment into your calendar and send an e-mail invite that will PROPOGATE the client's Outlook calendar. There is nothing like being SALES PRECISE with your clients, a sales attraction skill that most salespeople lack! This skill is easy to master, just propagate your Outlook Calendar with the significant information about the appointment or phone call, click "Invite Attendees" on the top navigation bar, add their e-mail address and click send!

Remember, Outlook is a great tool for external communication because the majority of the world is using Outlook. Other programs such as Goldmine or Act, usually are proficient for internal uses but for external communication use Microsoft Outlook.

Need some help with Outlook? Check out this free online training center http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/training/CR061832721033.aspx

Sales Tactic #4:

Understand JEOPARDY. That's correct J E O P A R D Y. Jeopardy is defined this way: From the last point of contact with your client until they are brought to conclusion (meaning a yes or no to your product or service) you are in JEOPARDY of losing that sale to a competitor. You had better instigate some immediate, distinctive follow up steps in an effort to throw glue on that client and build a competitor proof wall around them. As always, an immediate follow up to your phone call or appointment is a must.

For great sales distinctive ideas on follow-up, read this article titled T.I.P.S – http://www.chuckbauer.com/article.asp?ID=14

Sales Tactic #5

STOP right now being lackadaisical in your communication. Use and create URGENCY often with your clients.

The following is an actual communication that one of my Sales Coaching Students had with a client – and notice all the places that he adds urgency:

Communication to the Client from the Student:

"I am extremely busy, and know you are as well. Looking to get five minutes max of your time to discuss whether or not you still want (the product), invoicing options, as well as the extra service at no additional cost. Rumor has it our Fast Start promotion will end here this Friday. My greatest fear is that you'll delay reading this email or getting back to me until next week and by then we would have missed the cut-off date to help stretch your company's value by 58% not to mention losing Fast Start's delayed invoicing program until the end of this year."

Clients Response:

"Yes, I have been ignoring you. My silence is not a negotiation tactic, I've just been swamped. I am still interested in (the product). I only have one question before we move forward. Can the payments be made on a quarterly basis, as opposed to all up front?"

Students Response:

"Again, quarterly billing is not a problem; we'll add a 6% premium - what many of my clients are opting for is the delay of their invoice until December and leverage 2008's budget in January to receive their knowledgebase for nearly two years at the price of one."

Clients Final Response:

"Sold. Call me."

Okay, let's do an URGENCY scorecard in the students communication:

1. Extremely busy
2. Know you are as well
3. Five minutes max
4. Still want
5. Extra service at no cost
6. Will end on Friday
7. You will delay
8. Missed the cut off date
9. Stretch the value
10. Lose Fast Start

The student earned an "A" for his switch in communication styles. Just a week prior we had a one hour sales coaching session where his largest challenge was clients putting him off all the time – that challenge was a result of his lackadaisical communication tactics. Change up a few things, add some urgency and look at what happened.

Right now, I am inviting you to make the necessary changes in your client communication tactics. Up level your skills by implementing some of the ideas and suggestions offered in this article. Think about it . . . small little changes could result in a "Sold, Call Me!" versus the proverbial "I'll call you back in a few weeks!"


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
With over two decades of sales experience, Chuck Bauer is one of North America's most experienced sales coaches, consultants and workshop leaders. Chuck consults to a large number of sales organizations and salespeople nationwide and is a member of the National Speakers Association. His information is widely published in many print and internet based publications. He is a committed body builder, private pilot and trophy bass hunter. Find out more about Chuck at http://www.chuckbauer.com

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